HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — The Hampton Virginia Aquaplex was slated to open this summer, but supply chain issues have delayed construction.
The facility is set to open around fall 2022.
Some of the features inside include a 50-meter competition pool, a 25-yard competition programming pool, 1,500 seats for spectators and an outdoor splashdown park.
“To have a facility that can seat 1,500 for these large swimming events is a huge boom to this economy and the local region,” said Nicole Anderson, Clancy & Theys Construction Company Project Manager.
The Hampton Virginia Aquaplex is the largest of its kind in Virginia. It will replace an old pool that was in the city for 50 years.
Mary Bunting, the Hampton City Manager, said she is excited, especially after seeing water in the competition pool.
“It just means it is right there. We are almost there,” she said.
The City of Hampton used hotel tax money to finance some of the cost. The project totals around $30.5 million.
“We leveraged what we would spend on a quality-of-life amenity for our residence and added a sports tourism element to this park which will bring higher hotel, rest and sales tax dollars for the city,” she said.
The facility will hold swimming, diving, artistic swimming and water polo events.
Bunting said the city is partnering with the school district to add swim lessons to the P.E. curriculum for second graders.
The city manager said people were disappointed that they couldn’t use the outdoor splash park until next year, but she says the city has some cool indoor activities planned.
The indoor area will have a watercourse, dive-in movie night and special events.
An architect from GuernseyTingle, Chris Cromer, said they made intentional decisions to address safety concerns. He said treated pools release chloramines which can cause breathing problems.
“Indoor pools release different chemical compounds,” he said. “We want to extract those from the pool surface. Exhaust them out of there, so you have really clean air.”
He said it also gets noisy inside, so they put up acoustic panels and the deck has perforations in it to help disburse the sound.
“You can hear clean, crisp sound despite how exciting it might be during events,” Cromer said.
There are already some events on the agenda next year.
The Aquaplex will host:
- 2023 Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Men’s & Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships
- 2023 Virginia High School League (VHSL) Class 5/6 Swimming & Diving Championships
- 2023 USA Artistic Swimming Junior Olympics
- 2023 Virginia Swimming Short Course Age Group Championships